Wendi Ruth Burrill

Murder suspect faces kidnapping charges, too

The suspect accused of murdering a man outside a Medford apartment complex Wednesday also faces charges alleging he stole a late model car, kidnapped two people and forced them at gunpoint to drive him to a hideout in rural Jacksonville after the shooting.

Frank Joseph Hernandez, 25, of Central Point, is being held without bail on charges that he killed Jordan Scott Andres, 25, in a dispute over drugs just before 3 a.m. Wednesday, according to Medford police. Several witnesses, whom police have since contacted, reportedly fled the scene after the shooting. 

Hernandez then allegedly stole a red 2017 Toyota Camry belonging to Shyanne Riggs and kidnapped and coerced two other individuals at gunpoint, forcing one to drive him to a residence on the outskirts of Jacksonville and another to stay in the car, according to police and court documents. Hernandez allegedly destroyed one of the victim's cellphone, court documents say.

Two other people were arrested Friday for aiding Hernandez after the shooting. Vernon Earl Auten Jr., 58, and Wendi Ruth Burrill, 55, both of the 7000 block of Highway 238, face a felony count of hindering prosecution and a misdemeanor count of tampering with evidence, after Medford police executed a search warrant at their home Friday. They remain lodged in the Jackson County Jail on $12,500 bail.

Burrill and Auten allegedly aided Hernandez by hiding the stolen Camry at Cantrall-Buckley Park and driving Hernandez to another location, police say. Court records show Auten was found guilty on two counts of possessing methamphetamine in 2011, while Burrill has a single felony drug conviction from 1997.

Hernandez was captured Thursday afternoon following a standoff at a house in the 6500 block of Kentucky Drive outside Gold Hill, according to Medford police. A Medford SWAT team used tear gas to drive Hernandez out of the house after negotiations broke down after two hours. Hernandez had threatened suicide or suicide by cop, police said. 

Hernandez was evaluated at a local hospital Thursday and booked in the jail Friday, according to police and jail records. Two firearms were seized from the scene, a shotgun and a handgun that police said may have been used in Andres' shooting.

Jail records show Hernandez, of the 2100 block of Taylor Road, is listed as Frank Joseph Hernandez Jr., and court records show he's also known as Frank Joseph Smith, Franky Hernandez and Frankie Joseph Hernandez. 

Hernandez is being held without bail after entering not-guilty pleas to charges of murder, three counts of unlawful use of a weapon and felon in possession of a firearm, two counts of kidnapping and coercion, single counts of delivering heroin and vehicle theft and misdemeanor charges of tampering with evidence and second-degree criminal mischief.

Lawyers with the Southern Oregon Public Defender said they couldn't represent Hernandez because they already represent witnesses in Hernandez' case. Circuit Court Judge Phillip Arnold temporarily appointed the Los Abogados consortium of public defenders to represent Hernandez, but it's possible that an out-of-county defense lawyer may need to be appointed. 

In 2014, Hernandez was sentenced to prison after he was convicted of unlawful use of a weapon, felon in possession of a firearm and interfering with a police officer. He was previously convicted of felony fourth-degree domestic violence assault in 2012.

— Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.


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